On his latest episode of his HBO Special, “The Shop,” Los Angeles Lakers All-Star, LeBron James discussed his displeasure with Magic Johnson stepping down from his post as President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I found out from Randy [Mims],” said James.
“During my stretching session, my right hand [man] says to me: ‘Magic just stepped down.’ And I’m like: Man get the f*** out my face you’re bulls****ing. I go and check my phone, I look at it, the shit happened.”Personally for me, I came here to be apart of the Lakers organization, having a conversation with Magic. So it was just weird for him to just be like: ‘I’m outta here,’ and not even have no like: ‘Hey ‘Bron, kiss my ass, I’m gone.’ It wasn’t even that.”
Powerful words and opinions from the game’s best player.
Magic Johnson has nothing but respect for LeBron James. “I’m proud of him,” said Johnson in a Q&A in Manhattan back in Novemeber.
“Any advice, anything he needs, I’m here for him.”
More via Johnson in a transcript transcribed by AM New York’s Derrel Johnson:
Magic, who last year took charge of rebuilding the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations, also dished on the reasons LeBron James joined the team this offseason after spending his first 15 NBA seasons in the Eastern Conference.
“Well first of all, I think it was the Lakers brand, and then he knew that we had some really good young players. That’s probably first,” Johnson said of the four-time league MVP.
“Second of all, then I could help him, become a mentor to him for the things he wants to do on the court and off the court. He’s doing a great job with his businesses.”
The Lakers and James did not have the season that they would have hoped for. They didn’t make the NBA Playoffs and James injured his groin on Christmas Day.
That changed the trajectory of the Los Angeles Lakers’ season.
The initial stretch of games with James on the sidelines was a rough one for the Lakers.
His injury occurred in a Christmas Day matchup against the Golden State Warriors and the team was able to pull off an impressive 127-101 win. From that point on, they dropped five of their next six games entering the current week.
James could have sat out for the rest of the season. or “until the end of February, or even longer.”
He eventually came back at the end of January and the Los Angeles Lakers still did not make the NBA Playoffs.
The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.
What changed their course? There were distractions in year one of the LeBron experiment.
Injuries played a role beyond James. Insert: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo.
Player movements were a distraction too: Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Zach Randolph also never found their way to LA LA Land.
“The Anthony Davis stuff came later, but the injury, it was the most serious injury of LeBron’s career, so that’s the start there, and for him not to be on the court, he’s not able to influence anything.
They needed him, they don’t have the depth of talent on the team, so when you don’t have LeBron out there, there is no way, shape, or form you’re ever going to be a better team.”
Rest is the best option at this point. James isn’t in the NBA Playoffs but that doesn’t me that the NBA All Star will be idle.
He’ll also have a busy summer.
He confirmed during NBA All Star Weekend that he and his SpringHill Entertainment would begin filming Space Jam 2 this summer.
James will likely be recruiting too. The Lakers will enter this summer looking to make a splash in NBA Free Agency this summer.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan are expected to become unrestricted free agents.